Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Update on Sungai Way Deepavali Bazaar – Clause 41 of MBPJ’s Standing Orders prohibits voting by PKR Councillors who are in conflict of interest

Media statement by DAP ADUN for Kampung Tunku Lau Weng San on 28th October 2015 in Petaling Jaya:
I would like to refer to Clause 41 of the Standing Orders of Petaling Jaya City Council 2007 which reads as below:

“41.     Any Councillor who has any interest, direct or indirect, in any contract or proposed contrat or other matter, is present at the ordinary meeting or special meeting, or of any committee thereof at which the contract or other matter is the subject of consideration, he shall as soon as possible after the commencement thereof, shall disclose the fact, and shall withdraw from the meeting while the contract or matter is under consideration and shall be precluded from voting”

I raise this point in relation to a decision made by the Petaling Jaya Mayor on 20th October 2015. Mayor Mohd Azizi Mohd Zain told the press that the decision was made because majority of the councillors supporting the decision to reopen the old bazaar at Jalan SS 9A/13 while retaining the new one at Jalan SS 9A/12.

I am now questioning if there is a genuine majority even if the memorandum was signed by 12 Councillors (9 from PKR and 3 from PAS). It is public knowledge now that the group objected to the relocation is led by one Saminathan a/l Kitchan, a person who holds PKR divisional position in Kelana Jaya.

He was aided by one “Murali Puchong”, also a PKR divisional leader in Kelana Jaya. “Murali Puchong” is now under police investigation for inciting racial hatred during the demonstration on 15th October in Jalan SS 9A/12. In fact, many of those attended the demonstration were leaders and members of PKR.

I had earlier said that the only correct to be done is for the Mayor to conduct a special meeting under Clause 5(1) and allow the councillors to debate, deliberate and vote on the matter.

However, all PKR councilors, including the nine who had signed the memorandum, under Clause 41, shall disclose the fact that their members are involved in the subject matter under consideration. Therefore, they shall withdraw from the meeting and shall be precluded from voting as they all have an interest, whether direct or indirect on the subject matter as the group of hawkers protested against the relocation are led by a PKR divisional leader.

In simple term, this is to avoid any conflict of interest, that not only the matter should be referred to the Councillors, but all PKR councillors who have an interest on the matter, be it direct or indirect, shall be precluded from voting and the matter shall be voted upon by the remaining non-PKR councilors, including the three PAS councilors who signed the memorandum.

I would like to stress again that I have no intention to undermine the authority of the Mayor but no elected representative shall remain silent when it comes to issues that could severely undermine the integrity of the council when decisions are not made in accordance with procedures, in the spirit of good governance and rule of law.

Lau Weng San

ADUN Kampung Tunku
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